Puppies in Poppies

Letter to the Editor
By Marybeth Sobecki, November 2010

On March 25, 2010, our local police department removed 16 Golden Retrievers from an illegal backyard breeder. The home was filthy and many of the dogs were crated and a mess, physically and psychologically. There were too many dogs for our local shelters to find housing for, so my friends Colleen and Melissa, who have a Cesar Millan-type dog facility, Kings Kastle, took them in.

Two of the females were pregnant and my husband and I offered to foster one of the pregnant mothers. We used to be breeder caretakers for Canine Companions for Independence and had six litters born in our home.

The mama, Lilly, was having her third litter at the age of two and was very malnourished. We had a week to love her and fatten her up. On April 14th and 15th, she delivered five healthy puppies. The last five were stillborn due to her depleted state and she ended up with a Caesarean section for number ten.
v We believed that Lilly and her five puppies were a miracle and we spent the next nine weeks keeping everyone nourished and loved.

This enabled Colleen and Melissa to have time to provide all of the other Goldens with loving homes, plus take care of the four puppies that were delivered by the pregnant Golden they fostered.

Our town really went overboard with donations and help. The local Girl Scouts even raised $800 towards all the dogs getting shots and fixed.

And then this past weekend, Lilly and her five puppies went to permanent homes. I was a little sad yesterday, but today when I was actually able to sleep until 6 am, I knew it was time for all those new families to love them and raise them.

We had some California poppies growing in our yard and my husband was determined to get a picture of the puppies in the poppies. He is not a photographer and does not even know how to download pictures from our little digital camera! Even so, he got this terrific shot!

For more on the story go to the Kings Kastle website. You can see the sweet picture of Lilly cuddling one of her puppies a few hours after her surgery.

-Marybeth Sobecki
Cloverdale, CA